Environment Southland audit

Environment Southland is undergoing an independent legal audit of its compliance processes:

Chief Executive Rob Phillips said today that in light of recent allegations in the media, it was essential that there was public confidence that all of the Council’s regulatory practices were sound, and that the processes for taking compliance action were robust.

“Prosecutions are an essential part of our compliance activity, particularly where there has been a serious breach of the law, a regulation or a rule,” Mr Phillips said. “Everyone needs to be confident that compliance action is based on sound processes that have been carried out with integrity.” . . .

And what were those allegations in the media?

The move follows stories in the The Southland Times involving two separate incidents – one surrounding allegations that Environment Southland compliance officer Chris McMillan altered a statement from police after a stock truck sting, and the other where senior Invercargill lawyer Rex Chapman told The Times Mr McMillan effectively acknowledged under cross examination in court the council’s original written case against a farm owner and manager it was prosecuting contained statements that were not true.

Regional councils act as environmental police and wield wide-ranging powers.

Their processes and staff must be above reproach.






15 Responses to Environment Southland audit

  1. robertguyton says:

    “Their processes and staff must be above reproach.”
    And farmers must stand their stock long enough that they aren’t loaded with sloppy dung. And trucking firms must refuse to pick up stock that hasn’t been stood and have sufficient holding-tank volume to cope with all sloppy dung deposited during the journey. And there must be sufficient dump-stations to accept the contents of those tanks. And so on. There’s more to the issue than the Southland Times has covered.


  2. Captain Fantastic says:

    The proper response should be installation of statutory management. Get rid of the councillors, they have blown their chance. In the first report the CEO said, (& he knew full well what shocking revelations were still in the pipeline), he said that he fully supported council staff and processes. Quite frankly I am surprised that ES hasn’t employed more sophisticated methods of covering its dirty little secrets. I am so concerned that the shredders have been going full bore all weekend. What steps has ES taken to secure their records against tampering by staff before its “audit”? The whole thing has overtones of the Old Boy network. Clearly this council, (Environment Southland) has not been under adequate control. Concern over ES staff actions across Southland has been vocal for some time. Why have councillors been unaware and have sat on their hands?


  3. robertguyton says:

    Getting very het-up there, Captain. Gathering real information before firing off invective is the way forward for you, in my opinion.


  4. Captain Fantastic says:

    Hey………. the law is the law………. those responsible must be beyond reproach. It is not a joke. A reformed bank robber would not be employed as a bank teller, nor a paedophile in a kindergarten. Environment Southland punishes extremely. We require an exemplary record. One strike, you’re out mate. End of story.


  5. robertguyton says:

    Hyperbole and frenetic yabber does not equal reasoned comment, in my opinion.


  6. robertguyton says:

    Unless you are talking about John Banks or John key. There, I would be agreeing with you, mate.


  7. Paranormal says:

    Surely its time for the ES councillors to resign? They are responsible for the culture that creates the desire for staff to commit fraudulent and illegal acts? Integrity and all that…


  8. robertguyton says:

    I guess that would apply to the present Government then, Paranormal. The culture of fraudulent and illegal acts that exists all around them (GCSB anyone? Our police? ACC? It. Goes.On.) demands that National pull the pin on their term and hand over to MPs who don’t promote and support such behaviour.
    Cheers for the support.
    (Ps. I have a party in mind)


  9. Ross says:

    I congratulate you here Robert – you are very good at this. You take a thread discussing Environment Southland issues and suddenly you turn the discussion to the National Party. Are you sure you are not a Jedi or something similar.

    Any way – back to Environment Southland eh…


  10. robertguyton says:

    Thank you, Ross. Paranormal made it easy, describing the culture National has created to a ‘t’. His call for mass resignation was harsh, I admit, but given the seriousness of issues like the GCSB etc, not unfair.


  11. Paranormal says:

    You seemed to react quite strongly there RG. Anything you care to share with us, unburden yourself so to speak?

    BTW making stuff up has been in the police culture for decades, it may be misdirected to just blame National for that.

    I didn’t think a purist like you would take that as carte blanche for it to be seen as acceptable in your organisation. Or is it that the end justifies the means?


  12. robertguyton says:

    “Purists” like me don’t, para. You were quite correct.
    And I am entirely unburdened, but thanks for asking.


  13. Roger says:

    RG, I am interested in your answers to the following questions:
    As a Councillor at Environment Southland are you a member of the key organisation responsible for the Governance of ES?
    As a Councillor at Environment Southland do you condone ES staff committing perjury in respect of actions taken as ES employees and officers?
    As a Councillor at Environment Southland what is your attitude to misfeasance by employees and officers of ES?


  14. Roger says:

    Seen the video from GCSB yet? Is it on youtube? Have you a link? Do you feature? Dies Chris McMillan feature?

    Answers on a forged doodle/painting.


  15. robertguyton says:

    Great questions Roger, and put in a very adult way. I’m more than happy to answer all of your questions…hang on! What’s this?

    Roger says: Seen the video from GCSB yet? Is it on youtube? Have you a link? Do you feature? Dies Chris McMillan feature?

    Answers on a forged doodle/painting.”

    Oh, I see – you’re being facetious!

    That’s a shame.


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